My 2019 - Achievements and Failures - This Too Shall Pass

in #blocktradescontest4 years ago (edited)

This too shall pass

The above sentence is my wife’s favourite quote.

And I find myself falling back to this quote very frequently.


The quote is significant to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, during the bad times it reminds me that things will get better, bad times have a way of transitioning to better times.

And, secondly, the quote allows a person to recognise that even good times have a way of coming to an end. So while things are good, make the most of these times. For they too shall pass.

At the end of 2018, I was experiencing what can only be described as an emotional roller coaster. I had spent the better part of 6 months working hard to extract myself from my failing business while also working hard to re-enter the construction industry as an employee.

Bringing my failing business to an end was a highly stressful and emotionally draining experience. The end result was having to inform 7 employees that they no longer had a job. This experience almost broke me. Seven people were now unemployed as a result of my terrible failure. And to make matters worse, I was walking away from this failure with a significant amount of debt to pay off.

But at the same time, I had landed an incredible role with a company that I hold a huge amount of respect for. And the role gave me an opportunity to move back to my home town where I could be with my family and friends again for the first time in more than a decade. Which meant the world to me after such a tumultuous 2018. We made the move home in January 2019.

Being with friends and family again felt like a dream come true. And the intense happiness of being home once again felt at extreme conflict with the incredible level of guilt and sense of humiliation that I felt for my business failure.

So 2019 commenced with the incredible experience of being home with my family again, the guilt and humiliation associated with a business failure, and more than $145,000 of debt as a result of this business failure.


But I ultimately felt happy. I was working in a fantastic role, I could see my friends and family more often than ever, and I loved my home town. It’s still my favourite place on earth.

And I made it my mission to pay off my horrendous amount of debt in 2 years, and this Steemit account was created to document that journey.

Months went by without any real significant events. I grew into my new role and built strong relationships within the company. I also worked hard to repair my finances and by October this year I had paid off roughly $65,000 of my debt. My debt was now at $80,000, so I am reasonably well on track to be debt free in 2 years.

I was happy, and enjoying my work. And at around this time I vividly remember sitting in my office and thinking that everything was looking good and how stress free my life now felt. And then that short little sentence popped into my mind:

This too shall pass

This prompted me to remind myself that I should never feel settled. Always remember that the good and bad times come and go. And, in the construction game, things change at an alarming rate.

A couple of weeks after having this conversation with myself, my boss walked into my office:

I just wanted to let you know before it gets announced, I’m leaving the company. And I’ve putt forward the recommendation that you take over my role.

I was shocked. This man, my boss, always presented himself as being a company man for life. I never thought he would leave and expected to see him sitting on the board of directors one day. But apparently I was very wrong. And apparently he wanted me to take on his job.

The final weeks of my bosses time with the company flew by, and during that time we prepared for his departure and my transition into his role as best we could.

And as my boss left, another unexpected event took place. We had a company restructure. Which meant that my department now reported through to a different manager. And, as a result, there was absolutely no certainty that I would take over the leading role within the department. I hadn’t even met the new manager before.

The day eventually came where my boss left the company. On my own, it slowly dawned on me just how big of a job I was planning to take on. The head of my department is responsible for looking after most operations in our state. And some of these operations are extremely complex. I started to question my ability to do the role, and even if it was the right move to make after returning to the industry only 12 months ago.

Experiencing business failure destroyed my self confidence. And I’ve realised that I now constantly question myself and my ability to do virtually anything. This isn’t great in a role where you need to make quick decisions that can be the difference between risking the company’s reputation or costing the company many thousands of dollars. It occurred to me that I need to take the time to rebuild my confidence. It may even be a smart move to find a mentor to help with this recovery.

And of course, disaster strikes at the most inconvenient times. So disaster struck the week after my boss left. We had a significant incident on site, and it was up to me to manage the response given that I was the most senior staff member present. I handled the situation as best I could. But felt that I could have done better. And in the aftermath of the event. My new manager, who I had finally met and spent a brief amount of time with, gave me the impression that he felt the same way. I was convinced that this event would really hurt my chances of moving into my bosses role.

Fast forward to this week, and I have finally interviewed for my bosses role. And unfortunately I wasn’t the only candidate interviewing for the position after the role was advertised internally within the company. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this interview was quite possibly the worst interview that I have ever performed. I rushed through my answers for every question, I gave stupid answers to simple questions, and I completely failed to make the interview panel laugh, which I typically try to do in every interview so that the atmosphere becomes more relaxed. I put this performance down to my lack of self confidence. And I hate feeling this way after how I used to be before I went into business ownership. I once excelled at interviews and rarely failed them.

Once the interview was over I resigned myself to the fact that I had failed and wouldn’t be moving into the leading role within my department. I knew one of the other candidates; A highly experienced engineer who I thought would be a great fit for our team. And a good leader as well. And, slowly, I became OK with the fact that I would continue in my current role.

  • I have a great job
  • I am paid very well for what I do
  • I actually enjoy my work while most people don’t
  • My bosses role is high pressure and comes with a lot more responsibility.

Then, two days later, I received a call from the regional manager. I was convinced that the call was to politely let me know that I had failed to secure the promotion.

I was wrong

The role of Department Head was mine and would commence on the 1st of January 2020.


As it turns out, I had severely misjudged my performance in my current role, how poorly I thought that I had handled the recent incident on site, and my performance during the interview. Which is a lesson in itself; we are our own harshest critics. And we should go easier on ourselves. I spent the better part of this week beating myself up over what I perceived to have been a terrible interview. And, as it turns out, I was hard on myself for no reason at all.

So how was my 2019?

I suppose it was mostly a year of recovery. The previous year was spent rescuing myself and my wife from financial destruction so it makes sense that this year was one of recovery and preparation for moving ourselves towards a position financial security.

It has also been a year of slowly recovering my sense of self worth and self confidence. Which is a much harder thing to achieve and will be a long journey.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t beat myself up over my failings as a business owner. My only hope is that being successful in my career will offset my sense of failure as a result of my collapsed business.

And so I hope that my promotion will help with the return of my feeling of self worth and confidence. But time will tell. I am quite sure that the day that my debt is paid off will be a very happy day however. And will be a turning point in returning to a strong financial future and a properly functioning human being.

And what about 2020?

As with the general theme of this post, I’ll be sure to expect the unexpected. But in general, my primary plan is to purchase a house for us to live in next year after paying off my remaining business debt.

My promotion brings with it many challenges. And will likely result in very long hours in the office and a lot of personal development. I’m convinced that I’ll need to find a mentor and plan to ask my old boss to be this person.

And if I achieve this then I will be one happy individual indeed.

I hope your 2019 has been eventful and enjoyable, here’s to a fantastic 2020!

This post has been shared to my personal Twitter account:


Your photo is very good for this post, @debtfreein2. You sure did have a roller coaster year. Big congrats on the promotion, and I am sure you will live up to all expectations. I like your thoughts about not going too hard on ourselves. Most of us need this advice :)

@tipu curate

It was definitely the roller coaster of a year. And thank you.

Most people are way too hard on themselves. It can be hard to focus on the positives at times.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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